Kiev, August 10, 2021
Patriarch Bartholomew has never once condemned the violence against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church perpetrated by his Patriarchate’s “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” notes His Grace Bishop Viktor of Baryshevka.
Instead, he plans to come to Kiev later this month, knowing full well that his presence will be taken as a call to action by the violent nationalists who support him, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s representation to European and international organizations explained in a recent interview with news-politics.com.
As is well known, ever since Pat. Bartholomew and the Patriarchate of Constantinople invaded Ukrainian Church territory and created a parallel “church” organization there, violence has ramped up against the Ukrainian Orthodox. Hundreds of parishes have been violently seized, and the OCU supporters have showed time and again that they are not above physically attacking clergy and laity, including elderly women.
In October 2018, when the Holy Synod of Constantinople announced that it was officially entering into communion with Ukraine’s schismatics, it made a call (since shown to be insincere) to “avoid appropriation of churches, monasteries, and other properties as well as every other act of violence.”
However, since then, Pat. Bartholomew hasn’t said a word in defense of those who are persecuted.
“The head of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as the first among equal bishops of the global Orthodox Church, could publicly condemn acts of violence against the UOC, call on his spiritual children from the ‘OCU’ to stop the vicious practice of seizing churches, beating up the believers of the UOC. He could stop the targeted flow of insults, slander and anger directed at our Church. However, he hasn’t done this once,” Bp. Viktor commented.
“Patriarch Bartholomew cannot but understand that his arrival in Ukraine will be perceived by nationalist radical forces as a call to action. And if he’s talking about love for all Ukrainians, then he should have refrained from the planned visit,” the Ukrainian hierarch added.
Naturally, the Orthodox faithful of Ukraine cannot therefore approve of the Patriarch’s upcoming visit, Bp. Viktor concluded.